Happy Hour by Bombi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever since I’ve entered back into the work force as a mom I quickly adopted a favorite time of day. It truly is the happiest part of my day. A time to let my hair down, let my guard down, and just let loose. My co-workers agree that this is their favorite hour as well. As a matter of fact, throughout the years I’ve been invited to enjoy happy hour with them. However, I have an ongoing decline to their invite.

You see, my happy hour isn’t the same as theirs. I have a happy hour all my own. Mine doesn’t include chips, salsa, and a martini at the nearby bar. No my friends, my happy hour is the hour I get to go home. It’s the first moments I get to see the faces of my kids and the man I love. Happy hour includes, “How was your day?” and, “Did you find out what grade you got on your test?” and also, “What did you guys want to eat for dinner?” I don’t know if you’ve found it commonplace to meet folks with families who are constantly trying to escape them, but I seem to find them all around me. They might not notice that in passing they air their frustrations about their “baby of a husband” or “annoying kids they can’t wait to send off.” If this is news to you, I apologize, but sadly it’s no exaggeration. These statements are ones I’ve actually heard, and more than once.  While no one’s earthly life is perfect, I can tell you that mine is blessed and an answer to prayer.

I can remember like it was yesterday, trying to be a good mom to my daughter, as a single mom at times it was hard and exhausting, and at times lonely, but I always loved being a mom, and I always desired in my heart to have a chance to parent alongside someone who loved and respected us both. I also desired to have a son, but I wasn’t about to go have a baby out of wedlock to fulfill this secret want. But in the midst of life God heard my heart and within time, I got a chance to know life as I experience it now. It’s one where I don’t have to escape my life and family by being at some neighborhood bar. It’s a life that I don’t dread or want to run away from. It’s one where my husband shares the same sentiment, so rather than run from his place as a leader in our home, he runs to home. It’s a life where I not only have a precious daughter, but also the son I longed for.

Life now isn’t all roses and sunshine at every moment. But it’s still a dream come true, and as I said earlier, it’s an answer to prayer. It’s one I could only daydream about at one point, but now experience it all the time. It’s a life that I know in just a few short years or so, my husband and I will transition into an “empty-nest” so to speak, but one where I don’t have to sit alone as I watch my daughter go off and live life as an adult. It’s a life where we can experience together sending both of our kids into the world to be the best they can be. It’s a life of lots of laughter, and sometimes tears, and prayers, and meals, and talks, and stay at home movies, and homework, and basketball practice, and choir concerts, and all and everything in between. It’s a life of happy hour every day. It’s a blessed life, and I thank God I get to be a mother to my Avery and Noel.  I also thank God I get to do it not by myself, but with my precious, passionate, servant-leader of a husband.

So for any parent reading this, or if you one day hope to be, I challenge you to change the worlds definition of “Happy Hour.”  I encourage you to realize that your life doesn’t have to be one where you’re daily yearning to escape your family to find a breather, but one where you’re experiencing and cherishing the blessing that God always intended it to be. Because in case you forgot, “those kids” aren’t a burden, they are your true reward.

Psalm 127:3-5(NKJV)

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,

The fruit of the womb is a reward.

4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,

So are the children of one’s youth.

5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;

Photo Credit: ID 99964469 © Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

 

A Love Like No Other by Trish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not too long ago celebrated or time set aside for showing affection and love towards those we have relationship with; be it a romantic love, family love or friendship love.  My husband is of the persuasion we should celebrate love every day and not glamorize or commercialize one day of an entire year to be loving. Me, I’m the typical gal who loves the idea of having a day of intentional focus and showering affection on those dear to our heart. Neither of us are wrong in our approach to February 14th, we all see Valentine’s Day differently.   But what I did take note of this year is what a difference this day is for me now that I am with someone. While I appreciate the cards, flowers and gifts from my husband, I still find that no matter how much he showers me with such gifts, there is still no love like the love of Jesus. I think back to the days when I was single and I so longed to have someone to share February 14th with and all the while I had a Savior who gave His life to spend all my days with. Too often we set our sights on what the world sees as fulfilling and gratifying, but the truth of the matter is there is only one love that can satisfy the longing of our heart.

As we continue to move forward in 2018 I would like to encourage you ladies to be mindful of the love of Christ. He greets you every morning with His presence and watches over you throughout your day waiting for the chance to spend time with you and talk with you. He guides your path and protects you from dangers seen and unseen. He makes provision for your every need and delights to give you the desires of your heart.  By all means, celebrate the relationships God has blessed your life with and honor love shared with the people in your life but above all else, appreciate the greatest love of all, the love of Jesus Christ.

Photo Credit:ID 44549304 © Paultarasenko | Dreamstime.com

Be Present With Your Love by Sonya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The upcoming Valentine’s Day has me thinking about how I can better love my spouse. God put it on my heart to be more present.  We have a busy life with four kids and carving out time to go on dates can be hard. However, being present is key in the way we interact with our spouses. I look at all aspects of our relationship and I’m more aware that connecting with my husband will allow him to feel more loved by me. It is in the little things like when he calls me.  Am I focused on the conversation or am I distracted? My husband knows when I am not fully listening to him on and off the phone. In order to affirm that I am listening on the phone, I ask questions or repeat what he just said to make sure I understand.   Eye contact is the key in person and truly giving him your attention by turning off the television and phone, or going in another room where your kids can’t distract you. Giving of your time and listening well allows you to be present in the moment with your love/valentine. Our spouses deserve to be loved well and if we can’t give them our time and focus, then we are missing out on a deeper relationship that we can have with them! My husband does a great job at loving me well.  For Valentine’s Day he makes a homemade dinner and we stay at home and just be together. He shows me he is present by making himself available and carving that time out. It is not complex, but a simple gesture to just spend time with your sweetie and it doesn’t have to cost to be present with your love. I challenge you this Valentine’s Day to take a break from the busyness and spend time with the ones you love.  You will never regret being present in their lives!

Photo Credit:  ID 82818616 © Viacheslav Iacobchuk | Dreamstime.com

You’re Better For It by Kenika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acts 20:35

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

I love this verse because it’s promotes generosity.  It displays Christ’s purest desire to give rather than to receive.  It highlights the needs of the weak and the poor yes, but you can also take on this attitude in many aspects of life.  Other versions say, “It’s better to give than to receive.” To the truly selfish person that may sound perplexing.  Surely receiving is more enjoyable!  I’ve managed to learn over the years, however, the joy that is attached to giving.  One of my love languages is Gifts.  Which means I express love through giving gifts, and I also interpret or receive love through gifts.  When I was younger I think I much preferred getting a gift. Now that I’m older and more experienced, the joy for giving gifts has far surpassed the happiness of receiving one.  The look on a person’s face when they behold what I have spent time and money on to give to them is truly a delight to me.

“It is more blessed to give – It is a higher privilege; it tends more to the happiness of the individual and of the world. The giver is more blessed or happy than the receiver.” (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

It is a higher privilege indeed to be in the position to give. Think about that for a moment.  Think of how impacted you were when someone reached out to meet your need. What a blessing to be in the seat of the giver at a later turn in life.  This verse isn’t talking about physical gifts alone, but also about meeting the needs of the disenfranchised.  Maybe you were the person in need for a long time and now you are stabilized.  The best way to honor those who helped you is to help others.  People need food, shelter, community, a friend, a prayer partner, and the list goes on and on.  Sometimes in the “name it and claim it” circles of ministry believers are consumed with trying to get their needs, wants and desires met, and they neglect the needs of the weak.  I’m all for a strong prayer life, and humbly asking God to grant you what you need, all I’m saying is that the bigger blessing is in giving.  Don’t believe me? Well, Jesus said so.

Let’s hit the pause button on some of our typical requests and instead maybe ask the Lord to show us ways that we can grant requests. Let’s ask God to point us in the direction of opportunities where we can be the better for giving to those in need.  It’s the higher privilege that will leave you more blessed and happy than those you choose to look out for.

 

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